#5SmartReads - February 4, 2022
Hitha on the labor shortage, what women founders really need, and space junk
A gentle reminder that you can join the conversation of the day’s reads by clicking the title above and add your thoughts in the comments! My goal for #5SmartReads has always been to start conversations and share our thoughts and perspectives. I hope to see you there!
Someone asked how being a science communicator on Instagram impacted me on my weekly Q&A. I’ve been trying to come up with an answer since I saw the question, because it’s complicated.
I’m humbled that so many of you trust my insight and analysis on COVID and vaccines and mitigation measures. But I won’t lie - it does add more stress to my life, especially when I find some of the messaging from experts I had trusted to be questionable, and then I feel like I’m going crazy.
And then I read a headline like this, and it reaffirms my and my family’s commitment to masking, testing, limited socializing with precautions, and getting vaccinated and boosted.
We do all these things to keep not just ourselves safe, but more importantly to keep our community safe. Especially those who do not have the choice to stay home, who may not be able to afford highly protective masks, and who put their literal health at risk to support themselves and their families.
Long COVID is no joke, to the people who suffer from it and their families. And what happens when there’s no paid leave or flexibility for them to recover or find a new job? What happens then?
Janine Sickmeyer summed up my many feelings and experiences as a founder and investor, and wrote about the challenges of being a woman founder far more eloquently than I ever could. And these problems go beyond women or other underestimated groups seeking funding (for example, see what the founder and executive chairman of Bolt had to say).
I won’t waste a breath on investors who seek fame and recognition, but I commend Janine for publishing what so many founder and investor friends talk about behind closed doors, and to put her own money and efforts in changing the system.
True value-added investors are too busy working with their founders and writing checks to tweet about their so-called accomplishments. Janine is one of them, as is Annie Evans, Divya Gugnani, Janna Turner, Fran Hauser, Anjali Kumar, Brian Brackeen and Candice Matthews Brackeen, Charlie O’Donnell, and Joshua Siegel.
Disclosure - I am an investor in Bolt (and a proud one), as well as in Acronym VC (Joshua Siegel’s fund)
The leaders of our healthcare industry choose to not tackle its inequity at scale.
It affirms my belief that local leaders like Paula Richardson should be leading. And given what she’s accomplished in the past 2 years - launching a mobile testing unit out of her car to a testing and vaccination site in South DeKalb…
It’s easy to read this stories and marvel at the accomplishments of leaders like Richardson. But I hope you also unpack the why behind what they did.
Why are predominantly Black communities, and many communities of color, constantly the last to be cared for by our healthcare infrastructure?
And why are so many of us blind to this inequity, and perfectly content to stay blind to it?
This didn’t happen overnight and will not be fixed overnight. But it won’t be fixed AT ALL until leaders like Paula Richardson are in the rooms where the public health policy is set and communicated to the American people.
Gossip Girls: The cast of Bridgerton spills all the tea on a sizzling season 2 (Entertainment Weekly)
Bridgerton is one of my greatest pleasures (the books and the show and all the merch that has been released in its honor), and I can’t get enough.
Season 2 airing next month is honestly getting me through this winter, and this feature with the cast (including new stills from season 2!) is getting me through this week.
No real spoilers here, but this piece was like meeting up with old friends over a cup of tea and one of those fancy tea trays filled with nibbles.
I’ll leave you with these wise words from Lady Whistledown herself:
"It's so gratifying for this show to be a huge success, because oftentimes the things women are drawn to, people so easily disparage," Coughlan reflects. "But you should never underestimate a woman."
And just like that, we’re back to “things that should be plots in science fiction novels that are actual news.”
I give you what happens with the junk in space. And why Space Force is actually quite a necessary branch of our military.
Because if any of this junk finds itself in low orbit…it’s coming for us. And in the many books I’ve read where this happens…it’s never good.